General health and wellbeing

General health and wellbeing

General conditions


Health and wellbeing can be influenced by a wide variety of factors, one model that aims to identify a range of determinants of health was created by Dahlgren and Whitehead (see diagram above).  This shows that not all determinants are modifiable (e.g. sex, age) but many do have the opportunity to change and adapt. It is through these adaptable determinants of health that health inequalities can be addressed and personal health gains can be made. 


This section focuses on the general health and wellbeing of the population. Other sections describe the needs of vulnerable people such as people with disabilities, children in poverty and older people.


The 2015 Health Profile for the Wokingham Borough shows that:

• The health of people living in the Borough is generally better than the England average
• Deprivation is lower than average, although 2,000 children live in poverty
• Life expectancy for both men and women is higher than the England average
• About 11.4% of children in year 6 are classified as obese, better than the average for England
• Levels of teenage pregnancy, GCSE attainment, alcohol-specific hospital stays among those under 18, and smoking at the time of delivery are better than the England average
• Estimated levels of adult smoking and obesity are better than the England average
• Rates of sexually transmitted infections, road injuries and deaths, smoking related deaths and hospital stays for alcohol related harm are better than the England average


The full profile for Wokingham borough can be found here

Wokingham Clinical Commissioning Group have set out a Berkshire West Five Year Strategic Plan (2014-2019), as well as a Berkshire West CCGs Commissioning Intentions 2015-2016.


Wokingham Borough Council’s Health and Wellbeing board has a Strategy (2014-2017) that can be found here.

The figures in this section show that Wokingham Borough has a high level of health outcomes compared with national averages. However, Wokingham Borough Council’s vision is to further improve health and wellbeing of its residents and find innovative ways to engage partner organisations, local businesses and residents in providing services that meet the needs of all members of the local communities.

Wokingham Borough has one of the lowest premature mortality rates of all 150 local authorities in England (ranked 3rd) with only 257 deaths under the age of 75 per 100,000 (2013 Health Profile).

Men aged 65 years living in Wokingham Borough can expect to live to 81.9 years old, while women aged 65 can expect to live to 84.9 years old. Such long lives are a result of people enjoying good health, having a good quality of life and access to good health care.


Two items in the national Census asked people to report on their general health and whether they felt that they were limited at all in performing day-to-day activities due to health reasons. Almost 90% of respondents living in Wokingham Borough said that their day to day activities were not limited at all. This is higher than the national average and the average for the South East Region. Around 55% of people living in the Borough felt that they were in very good health with a further 30% feeling that they were in good health. Again, this is higher than the national and South East average with fewer people from the Wokingham Borough reporting that they were in poor health.  

Figure 1: Self-reported general health of residents (Census 2011) 

Self-reported wellbeing 11/12

Personal wellbeing is one of the domains in the national wellbeing program. Estimates for personal wellbeing are based on data from the Annual Population Survey, which includes responses from around165000 people.  This is a large representative sample of adult aged 16 and over living in residential households in the UK.


The latest personal wellbeing estimates suggest year-on-year improvements in reported wellbeing since 2011/12, when ONS started to collect the data.
Unemployed people continue to rate their personal wellbeing lower than those who ae employed, but both employed and unemployed people rated their personal wellbeing significantly higher on average in 2013/12 than in 2011/12.


The Public Health Outcomes Framework includes 4 indicators for wellbeing, which are taken from the ONS Annual Population Survey. These measure the % of people who have low levels of wellbeing for each of the 4 measures; life satisfaction, happiness levels, feelings of worthwhile and feelings of anxiety. These all improved from 2012/13 to 2013/14. The results are shown in Figure 2. 

Figure 2: Self-reported wellbeing of residents (2011/12)

Self-reported wellbeing 13/14
Wokingham worthwhileness

Life satisfaction – in 2013/14, the average life satisfaction score in Wokingham was 7.61 out of 10. This is comparable to the England figure of 7.49 out of 10. 4.8% of people reported that they have low satisfaction levels in Wokingham; this is similar to the national level of 5.6% and also to previous year’s figures.


Worthwhile – in 2013/14, the average worthwhile score n Wokingham was 7.85 out of 10. This is comparable to the England figure of 7.73 out of 10. 

Happiness – in 2013/14, the average happiness score in Wokingham 7.56 out of 10. This is comparable to the England figure of 7.37 out of 10.


Anxiety – In 2013/14, the average happiness score in Wokingham was 2.89 out of 10. This is comparable to the England figure of 2.94 out of 10. 17.8% of people reported that they had a feeling of high anxiety in Wokingham.


Below are some examples of activities in the Borough that residents can undertake to help improve their health and wellbeing. 


Keeping fit and active

There are 5 leisure centres in the Wokingham Borough and the Council offers a discount leisure card to the local residents. In addition, there are over a hundred of different clubs and leisure activities including health walks, cycling and sailing. 

Wokingham Borough Council runs several programmes of physical activities for adults and children. Wokingham Active Kids is run during holidays and includes a wide range of activities such as football, swimming, dancing, tennis, cricket, judo and basketball. SHINE is a programme of physical activities for people 50+ offering 54 different classes per week such as line dancing, seated Zumba and swimming. SHINE has around 1,500 members. SHINE+ offers physical activities for people with disabilities, mental health problems and carers.


Wokingham Borough residents have easy access to leisure, sports and art venues both within the borough, but also in surrounding towns such as Reading, Henley, Bracknell and Windsor.

Health services

There is a wide range of specialist health services in West Berkshire including specialist services such as support for looked after children and a prison health service. There are 13 GP surgeries and an out of hours service (NHS 111).


The Borough has a strong regional economy dominated by the IT, communications and pharmaceutical sectors and has excellent communication links to London, Heathrow and the motorway network.  According the Office for National Statistic, in 2012-2013 unemployment fell by 12% in comparison to the previous year (measured in the number of Job Seeker’s Allowance claimants).   



There is a wide range of housing options in Wokingham Borough. Around 100-150 affordable homes are delivered in Wokingham Borough each year. The most common type of housing in Wokingham Borough is detached housing, followed by semi-detached housing. There is more housing that are caravans or mobile structure in the Wokingham Borough as a proportion of all housing types than there is nationally and across the South East. For more information please refer to the Housing and Homelessness section.

Wokingham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Wokingham Borough Council identified the most disadvantaged areas of Wokingham borough whose residents are likely to have poorer health and lower life expectancy compared to their more affluent neighbours: Bulmershe and Whitegates, Finchampstead South, Norreys, Shinfield North, Shinfield South, and Swallowfield.

People living in areas of relative deprivation are more likely than the area average to be unemployed and in receipt of benefits. They are also more likely to be disabled/and or older people and thus will have already been identified as key groups of need in Wokingham Borough.


  • Ensuring that health and social needs of people in disadvantaged areas are met and their views are reflected in the commissioning plans

  • Providing health and fitness services that reflect the culture and needs of gypsies and travellers and people from minority ethnic groups
  • Meeting specific needs of people with long term conditions, older people and carers (identified in other sections of this document)    

Such as: CCG’s, General Practices, Local Authority department e.g housing and other providers.

  • Engage local residents and community groups in planning and delivering services that meet the needs of the most disadvantaged people utilising social capital
  • Address the needs of vulnerable children and adults identified in other sections of this document


Public Health England; Public Health Outcomes Framework data tool (updated February 2015)
Office for National Statistics; National Wellbeing Interactive Wheel of Measures (September 2014)
Office for National Statistics; National Wellbeing Measures Statistical Bulletin (September 2014)
Office for National Statistics; Personal Wellbeing in the UK 2013/14 (September 2014)
Office for National Statistics; Measuring National Wellbeing (collection of web sources and data)